Greig, M., & McNaughton, L. (2006). Progressive decrease in dynamic postural control during simulated soccer match-play. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1087.

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This study investigated the cumulative effect of soccer-specific fatigue on dynamic posturography. Professional soccer players (N = 8) completed a treadmill protocol, which comprised two 45-minute exercise periods separated by a 15-minute interval (simulation of half-time). A 15-minute activity profile was developed, which was repeated six times in total. The 15-minute activity profile comprised 195 discrete bouts of exercise, producing a change in speed every ~6 seconds. Within this activity profile, seven movement speeds were included.

Center of gravity displacement tended to increase as a function of exercise duration during each simulated half, with second half performance typically impaired more than in the first half. This trend was evident for total, medio-lateral and anterio-posterior displacement. During the plantar rotation trial, the passive half-time interval was observed to significantly increase medio-lateral displacement of the ankle.

Implication. The intermittent activity profile of soccer match-play induced a significant deterioration in dynamic postural response as exercise progressed. Reduction in joint stability predisposed the ankle joint complex to sprain injury during the latter stages of match-play. Furthermore, a passive half-time strategy predisposed the ankle joint to injury during the early stages of the second half.

[For baseball. Fatigue that occurs from pitching when not conditioned specifically for pitching, increases the likelihood of injury at the end of the pitching bout. When no activity occurs between-innings, the sudden resumption of violent pitching exercise also increases the likelihood of joint injuries (e.g., hamstrings, ankles, elbows). Thus, increasing specific pitching fitness and maintaining an active recovery during innings should reduce the likelihood of injury during a game.]

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